HEALTH Secretary Francisco T. Duque III yesterday said the number of dengue cases in 11 regions in the country has already exceeded the epidemic threshold.
In a radio interview, Duque identified the regions as Calabarzon, Mimaropa, Regions 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12 and BARMM.
The World Health Organization described epidemic threshold as the critical number or density of susceptible hosts required for an epidemic to occur. The epidemic threshold is used to confirm the emergence of an epidemic so as to step-up appropriate control measures.
Last Tuesday, the Department of Health declared a national dengue epidemic due to the spike of the infection’s cases in the country with 146,062 cases which have been recorded from January to July 20.
WHO said epidemic is the occurrence in a community or region of cases of an illness, specific health-related behavior, or other health-related events clearly in excess of normal expectancy.
Duque noted that in just a week or as of July 27, the dengue cases grew further with 167,607 cases, which is 96% higher compared to the 85,011 cases recorded in 2018.
The health chief said that every three to four years, a spike in dengue cases is expected according to WHO. However, the reason behind this phenomenon has not yet been established.
He said rapid urbanization and climate change might be the possible causes of the phenomenon.
Duque said they are coordinating with the Department of the Interior and Local Government and local government units to execute measures that can prevent the spread of dengue-carrying mosquitos.